Taking Back Your Own Environment
Taking Back Your Own Environment
   The Puerto Princesa Model
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Responsible Environment Puerto Princesa
Responsible Environment
Puerto Princesa

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Puerto Princesa is the land of non-stop festivals, all of them with an environmental flavor. It works. I've been going there since 1995 and I've never seen a candy wrapper, bottle cap or cigarette butt on city streets.

When Mayor Edward Hagedorn won office in 1991 with an environmental campaign, his opponents left him with P28,000 in the city coffers, expecting he couldn't live up to campaign promises.. The Mayor still led a campaign to clean the city - not with money but with household brooms. It worked. The clever Mayor had the City's budget back in balance in a year, and Princesa is clean and prosperous ever since.

Before Hagedorn, Princesa was just another Filipino town with a black water harbor, denuded mountains and rampant illegal logging, mining and fishing. By my 1995 visit, the city was already an environmental paradise. In the past twelve years, the Pista U Ang Kageban (Festival of the Forest) planted 1.5 million trees. More important, pre-school kids become environmentalists and University students give up their parties to develop environmental projects.

Flying into Princesa, the borders are obvious. Brown, bare hills rule the landscape outside the municipality. Then a straight line of thick solid green jungle starts - the municipality border. Even from 20,000 feet, mangroves dominate Ulagan Bay, and Honda Bay is pure blue.

On the social side, crime rate is zero and the town is drug free. There are none of the homeless people and beggars who burden social and economic progress across the Philippines and indigenous people - outcasts elsewhere - are encouraged to continue their forest lifestyles and enjoy high social status.

The municipality of 200,000 hosts two nature-based World Heritage sites and one in process. Nine kilometer St. Paul's Underground River is the World's longest sea cave, and the limestone jungles outside the cave rival the cave. St. Paul's jungle delivered my Palawan Peacock photos. Tabuttaha is a rare World Heritage reef, and Ulagan Bay hosts 17% of all the mangroves in a 7,000 island nation.

Accommodations range from bungalows to 3-star hotels, and the place is packed with quaint, inexpensive restaurants with excellent food, There's even so night - m favorites is The Backyard, where funky a funky acoustical guitarist delivers Dylan and Van Morrison to your individual bamboo and coconut frond booth.

The Mayor encourages academic research, NGO inspections and environmentally responsible, corruption-free economic development. I believe that cloning the Puerto Princesa model worldwide develops a positive economic and environmental influence, and encourage your personal visit to impressive Princesa.

For all its environmental charms, Princesa's well organized, warm hearted hospitality is the highlight of everybody's visit.

Come see for yourself.

FEB 2006 - Love affair with nature

Introduction to Puerto Princesa Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>
Pista Y Ang Kageban (Festival of the Forest) Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>
Sea Kayaking Around Puerto Princesa Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>
Puerto Princesa Restaurants
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JUNE 2006 - Festival of the forest

Arriving At The Pista Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>
Princesa City Dancers
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Pista Dawn Patrol - Planting
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Onstage inc dancers
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Indigenous people
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Pista Stars
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Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis)
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Palawan Peacock (Polyplectron emphanum or napoleonis)
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Ernie Takes Us Around Princesa
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Where is the Mayor
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